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So far Raising Multiples has created 37 blog entries.

You Can Still Make a Tax-deductible Gift

december31It’s not too late! You can still make a tax-deductible contribution to Raising Multiples and help us continue our mission of supporting families of multiples and preemies.

Please use the “Donate Now” button above. Thank you!

December 27th, 2017|Testimonials/Fund Raising|

A Glimpse into the Life of Triplets

Special thanks to Corinne Parco for sharing her high school senior project with us! She writes, “I decided to write an article about triplets since I, myself, am a triplet. The article is about the perspective of triplets and triplet mothers.”

Throughout human history the number “three” has been a number of fascination and importance. In the world of art there are only three primary colors that are needed to make most colors; red, yellow, and blue. Three is a number representing time: past, present, and future; birth, life, death; or beginning, middle, end. In fairy tales, characters are usually granted three wishes. So, it is only natural for people to have a fascination with triplets. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a triplet? Or have you ever had the fleeting thought about wanting to have triplets? The triplet life is complicated – three of everything including three mouths to feed, three diapers to change, three cribs, triple the mess and triple the fun!

I am a triplet and I am going to give you a unique look into what life is like for a triplet and also triplet parents. There are many challenges and rewards in both areas, so if becoming a parent of triplets is in your future, I hope that this insight is helpful.

I interviewed five triplet mothers: Stacy, Sue Ann, Julie, Sue, and Jennifer for their unique perspectives to give you an inside look into their lives. From a social aspect, many triplet mothers said they feel like they’re being judged because they have triplets. One of the triplet mothers, Sue Ann, said it was hard going out in public because most people are curious or fascinated. When they see triplets they feel the need to stop her to ask questions. People believe having triplets is a miracle and a burden; a miracle that they were able to give birth to three babies at once, but also a burden to have to take care of three babies at once. Typical comments to triplet mothers from strangers are: “I am glad it is you and not me”, “You have your hands full”. Other frequently asked questions were: “Do you dress them alike?”, “How do you do it?”, “Do they share the same birthday party?”, “Can you tell them apart?”. “Are they identical” (even with girls/boys/sets). People often ask how the moms conceived triplets. (Wow that’s a personal question!) To that Sue Ann replied “That is none of your darn business!” Other questions asked by strangers include: “Were you surprised to have triplets?”, “Do your triplets share?”, “Do you plan on having any more children?” and “Are they natural?”. You can see that when out in public the amount of curiosity is high amongst people. As a triplet parent, you need to be prepared for a lot of questions, and at times you may even feel that your children are bit of a spectacle.

As triplets grow older people tend to make assumptions about their personalities and their appearances, such as they must all be alike. Some people don’t understand the difference between identical and fraternal. For example, when I meet people and tell them I am a fraternal triplet they will say I look identical to one of my sisters. Triplets may look similar because they are siblings, but they can be fraternal. Another inference is that people believe triplets must be all into the same things or activities and they all share the same friends. Julie commented, “People sometimes assume that they have all the same interests and abilities. That they are less unique because they are triplets.”

Speaking from a triplet’s perspective there are times when I don’t want people to know I am a triplet because I’m asked too many questions such as: “Do your sisters look like you, have I seen them before?”, “Do you have the same classes?”, “Do they go to the same school as you?” and “What do they look like?”. When triplets are young, they may have the same hobbies and likes because they spend more time together and it’s easier for the parents to put them in the same classes. But as they grow older, their activities and preferences are going to differ from each other’s. Writing from a triplet’s view point, it’s a bit annoying that some people see triplets as one entity, by that I mean they think we all have the same interests, we must be best friends, and we all look identical. Everyone is their own unique individual! Jennifer stated that people often try to classify triplets into categories. Strangers ask which one is the sporty, active one or which one is the smart one? Some people tend to believe that triplets can read each other’s thoughts. Triplets can’t read each other’s thoughts! We may share a connection or bond because we were born and raised together, but we can’t really read each other’s minds.

When we were younger, my sisters and I were in the same classroom until we reached high school. At first it was fine being in the same class because we already had an automatic partner and didn’t need to ask anyone, but later on when we entered fifth grade that’s when everything started to change. We didn’t want to be in the same group anymore because grades started to matter. I had the better grades and during high school teachers would sometimes compare us. For example: “why don’t you study together?” “Why do you have the better grade in the class?” “Do they (my sisters) study?” I felt good knowing I had the better grades, but I also felt bad because I didn’t know my sisters weren’t doing that well in class. Entering high school has made my sisters and I grow apart because of school work and our extracurricular activities, but when we do get together and talk, it becomes a heart to heart discussion which brings us closer together.

The topic of money came up when interviewing triplet mothers. Parents of triplets have to pay for three of almost everything including three college educations at the same time, so financial planning and saving is essential in a household with triplets. To save money triplet mothers use coupons and search for the best deals in every purchase. Sue Ann mentioned that her children started to notice when their friends went on a nice vacation and they were able to eat out all the time. She also said the only time her family ate out was when her kids were young and everyone agreed to drink water, instead of soda, and order from the kid’s menu. One of the triplet mothers said when she brings her children to the outdoor dollar movies, instead of buying popcorn there, she brings her own home popped popcorn. Another way the triplet mothers save money is by selling and shopping at consignment sales organized by their multiple group. All of the triplet moms belonged to a twin or triplet group when their children were small for emotional support and to connect with other families. Sharing stories and best practices with expectant, or new parents, provides insight into the rare world of raising triplets, as well as how to survive the first few challenging years.

Being a triplet is very special and unique. Mentioning that you are a triplet can be a good ice breaker when meeting someone for the first time. On the other hand, many people tend to want to make a lot of assumptions about you and your siblings. I usually have to answer lots of questions and do quite a bit of explaining. I can now appreciate the challenge facing a triplet mom, with three babies in a stroller, trying to make it through the grocery store while having to deal with all of the questions posed by total strangers at the most inopportune or oddest time! I am blessed to be a triplet and to be a part of this rare bunch that has added perspective to my life.

Like the way the Pythagorean theorem defines the relationship of the three sides and three angles of a triangle, I feel like I am part of an equation that would be incomplete without my two sisters. They have added laughter, joy, frustration, and mostly a love that cannot be replaced by any other two people in this world. Though we are definitely individuals, with our own interests and personalities, we will always share an inexplicable bond, the bond of a triplet.

December 5th, 2017|Articles, School-Age Multiples|

Raising Multiples’ 2017 Adopt-a-Family List

Here are our 2017 families.  You can read more about our program on our FAQ page.  Raising Multiples is a registered IRS 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Thank you for your interest in helping families in need this holiday season. Each family has different needs. Some can benefit from new clothing and toys, others basic necessities like groceries and diapers. Others can utilize gift cards for gas and food.

Email us if you would like to adopt a family. You can reach our Adopt-a-Family Coordinator, Lisa, at lisaddibona@yahoo.com. She will provide information and shipping information/instructions if needed.

Also, you can mail a check or gift cards (the post office box cannot accept packages) to Raising Multiples, P.O. Box 69, Albertson, NY 11507. Please include the family # you are adopting! Our program continues throughout the year, so all donations will be utilized.

In addition, you can use a credit card through Paypal; click here to go to our donation page.  Donations are tax deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) organization.

Family #1 – If you’d like to make a general donation to the Adopt-a-Family program, we will do the shopping for you for any families that are not adopted, added to the program late, or that need help during the year. You may mail your contribution to Raising Multiples, P.O. Box 69, Albertson, NY 11507, or donate online. Be sure to mark the “Please apply this donation to the AAF program” box under Donor Information. Thank you!

Family #2 – This east coast family had triplet boys born in May at 29 weeks – only two of the boys survived. One of the boys came home at the end of the summer.  The second baby came home two months later after having successful surgery. This family has a long road ahead of them with future surgeries.  We’d like to make this holiday a little easier for them.

Family #3 – ADOPTED: This southwest family with triplet boys born in August had a life-changing event occur on the day they were born.  Mom died giving birth.  The family also has a 6-year-old son and although Dad is doing an amazing job, life can be hard for a parent alone.  We’d like to make this holiday a little easier by showing them they are not alone.

Family #4 – A Mom of 4-year-old quadruplets is moving away from a domestic violence situation. Dad has been  arrested. The family is hoping not to have to go to a shelter, but a grandparent died recently and the other grandparent has health issues. They are hoping to move in with relatives, so they can all take care of each other, but no matter where they go, we’ll be able to get gifts to them. We’d like to help this Mom give her kids a special holiday during this stressful time. Gift cards to Walmart and Amazon would be helpful for basic necessities as well as gifts.

Family #5 – ADOPTED: This southeast family with 4-year-old triplets – identical twin boys and a girl has had their world turned upside down. The family was out at a park playing and one of the kids got sick. They rushed to the hospital – the boy was pale and very sick, but they had trouble figuring out what the issue was. Hours later, after a transfusion and a trip to a bigger hospital they learned the boy has Leukemia.  Their world has completely changed.  Both parents are self-employed, which is good because they can be home to take care of the kids, but hard because if they’re not working, there is no money coming in. Every week the boy has to get chemo in a hospital several hours away. They drive a 10 year old car and there are lots of expenses associated with overnight stays, transportation and medical bills.  We’re sure Christmas gifts are pretty low down on the their list, so we’d like to fill that gap.

Family #6 – This family is from Texas and are survivors of Hurricane Harvey.  They lost everything, but this family of 7 is very strong and determined to rebuild their lives.  They could use funds for Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and Target.

Family #7 – This hard working east coast family has 4-year-old triplet girls, a 5-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl.  One of the triplets has had several surgeries, and will need at least one more as well as long-term care.  This family is just grateful to have their whole family together as each child brings something very special to the family.  Money is tight because of all the care required, and we’d like to help this family have a special holiday this year.

Family #8 – ADOPTED: This family is going through a very tough time.  Dad has cancer and is unable to work right now.  This family has Girl, Boy, Boy triplets who just turned 6 years old.  They struggle every month with the bills and are worried about heating the house this winter.  If we could help them with groceries and warm clothing, they could use the money they do have to pay the mortgage and heat the house.  This family lives near a Target and a ShopRite Supermarket.

Family #9 – ADOPTED: This family of six had a very difficult year.  One of the quadruplets, had an extreme reaction to a drug. Due to insurance complications, the family has spent all of their savings and retirement savings on treatment.  Let’s give them some support through gift cards or fun gifts for the “kids”. Mom and Dad could use some encouragement also.

November 21st, 2017|Testimonials/Fund Raising|

Ob/Gyns Warn Against ‘Vaginal Seeding’ Trend for Newborns

HealthDay news image

Special thanks to our friends at HealthDay for providing this story.

 

The U.S.’s leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists is warning against a new trend where babies born by C-section are “seeded” via cotton swabs with vaginal microbes from the mother.”Vaginal seeding” is growing in popularity because it’s thought that babies born through Cesarean-section miss out on certain “helpful” vaginal microbes that might shield the infant from asthma, allergies and immune disorders.

“Vaginal seeding has become a rising trend for patients,” noted Dr. Jennifer Wu, an ob/gyn at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Patients read about the benefits of a vaginal delivery and hope to replicate these benefits with vaginal seeding.”

As explained by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s thought that contact with healthy vaginal bacteria helps stimulate the infant immune system, prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria and regulates the gut.

That contact doesn’t happen for babies born via C-section, however, so in vaginal seeding, a cotton swab with vaginal fluids from the mother is used to transfer vaginal bacteria to a newborn.

But in a statement issued Oct. 24, ACOG — the nation’s largest ob/gyn organization — said the procedure is not recommended because the known risks outweigh any potential benefits.

“Due to the lack of sufficient data, the very real risks [of vaginal seeding] outweigh the potential benefits,” Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG’s vice president of practice activities, said in a college news release.

“By swabbing an infant’s mouth, nose or skin with vaginal fluid after birth, the mother could potentially, and unknowingly, pass on disease-causing bacteria or viruses,” he explained.

Wu agreed. “There are very real risks attached to this practice,” she said. “Certain viruses, such as group B strep and herpes, can cause serious illnesses such as meningitis in newborns.”

And Zahn stressed that there’s a much safer way for a new mom to transfer her helpful bacteria to her newborn: Breast-feeding.

“Breast-feeding for the first six months is the best way to overcome the lack of exposure to maternal vaginal flora at birth,” Zahn said. “The bacteria present in breast milk and on the nipple is sufficient for natural colonization or seeding of the gut. There may be some initial difference in the gut [microbes] of infants based on mode of delivery, but research has shown that difference disappears after about six months,” he added.

If a woman does insist on vaginal seeding, her ob/gyn needs to make sure the patient understands the potential risks, ACOG said.

Dr. Mitchell Kramer is head of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. He agreed that breast-feeding is a good means of transmitting healthy microbes from a mom to her baby, but that “the jury is still out on [vaginal seeding] and further study is necessary before this is recommended as a routine protocol.”

SOURCES: Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Mitchell Kramer, M.D., chairman, obstetrician/gynecologist, Huntington Hospital, Huntington, N.Y.; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, news release, Oct. 24, 2017.

Positive Parenting: Building Healthy Relationships With Your Kids

Good information for all ages from our friends at the National Institutes of Health.

Parents have an important job. Raising kids is both rewarding and challenging. You’re likely to get a lot of advice along the way, from doctors, family, friends, and even strangers. But every parent and child is unique. Being sensitive and responsive to your kids can help you build positive, healthy relationships together.

“Being a sensitive parent and responding to your kids cuts across all areas of parenting,” says Arizona State University’s Dr. Keith Crnic, a parent-child relationship expert. “What it means is recognizing what your child needs in the moment and providing that in an effective way.”

This can be especially critical for infants and toddlers, he adds. Strong emotional bonds often develop through sensitive, responsive, and consistent parenting in the first years of life. For instance, holding your baby lovingly and responding to their cries helps build strong bonds.

Read more…

September 28th, 2017|Articles, Parents of Multiples|